Does your company have guidelines for emails? If not, consider why. Style and etiquette rules are important for three reasons:
- A good, uniform style makes your company appear more professional.
- Properly written emails get right to the point, making them effective.
- People enjoy reading well-written emails and more likely to respond quickly.
There are many etiquette guides and different rules. Some apply to most businesses – others only apply to certain types of corporate culture.
Business English Today, a magazine edited by native-speakers, has collected the most relevant elements of email etiquette:
- Use a meaningful subject line.
- Be concise and to the point.
- Don’t copy everyone.
- Use proper spelling and punctuation.
- Answer swiftly.
- Avoid attaching unnecessary files.
- Don’t write in CAPITALS.
- Include the message thread.
- Take care with abbreviations and emoticons.
- Avoid long disclaimers where you can.
- Read the email before sending.
- Use a proper email signature.
Further material on this topic as well as other useful subjects for international business can be found at Business English Today.
In closing, I wish you speedy, effective email replies.